When beginning any creative endeavor a crucial choice must be made. The artist must decide how to navigate the world of risk.
It’s pretty easy to see what success looks like in the creative realm. Movies x, y and z followed this template and everyone loved them and they made tons of money. Authors x, y and z followed this story arch and everyone loved them and they made tons of money. Musical artists x, y and z made songs in such a way that delivered catchy, like-able sounds.
But what if you want to break away? Most artists genuinely do. Nobody pursues an art in the hopes of simply mimicking some other artist. Inspiration and copying are different things.
The risk/reward paradigm of breaking away is extreme. You could start a new trend, break new ground, speak to an emotion or idea in a completely unique way that touches the masses. If this happens you’re sure to make millions. The reverse is also possible. Ridicule, scorn, and misunderstanding potentially await you. You could be broke and lonely for a long time. Of course your work could become famous when you’re old or deceased but what good does that do you or your kids now?
When it comes to music I love music that pushes the boundary. But by its very nature of pushing the boundaries I also don’t like a lot of music out there! As you may have guessed from the video on my homepage my favorite band is Mewithoutyou.
Mewithoutyou definitely pushes the boundaries. while their Pandora Radio station is pretty solid there isn’t a single band on it that sounds like them! This is a true testament to both their ingenuity and their brilliance. They’re a very successful indie band but are not millionaires by any means. They have a powerful cult following but never transcended into the next stratosphere of success (don’t think they wanted to).
Another testament to Mewithoutyou’s uniqueness is it legitimately took me two years before I began to appreciate their music. My friend would tell me how awesome this next song was, what it was about and why, and I just couldn’t get into it. Like the finer things in life the taste for Mewithoutyou was acquired, something musicians and artists in general fear too much.
So next time you hear music you don’t like try and appreciate that the artist is trying to actually create something unique (unless it’s country music that doesn’t count it’s not creative or good).